The weather turned chilly overnight. Suddenly it's really autumn....and soup weather. So this evening, at the end of a busy week, I came home and made a simple soup with some of the vegetables that still remained from last Saturday's visit to the farmers' market.
If your market basket—like mine—includes kale and sweet potatoes, you might give this soup a try. It is light and flavorful and on the table in about an hour. A perfect weeknight meal for a blustery evening.
Kale, Sweet Potato & Chorizo Soup
2 T. Olive oil
1 small onion (5 to 6 oz.), finely diced
2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
2 oz. Spanish Chorizo, casing removed and finely diced (see notes)
1/2 t. Smoked Spanish paprika
1 bunch Kale (about 6 oz.)—I used Russian kale, but Tuscan kale would be good too
1 sweet potato (about 6 to 8 oz.)
3 to 4 cups chicken stock
3/4 to 1 c. cooked chickpeas (about half of a 14 oz. can), rinsed
Olive oil for serving
Heat the olive oil in a large soup pot set over medium heat. Add the onions and garlic along with a pinch of salt and cook until soft and beginning to caramelize—10 to 15 minutes.
While the onions cook, strip the ribs from the kale and cut the leaves cross-wise into 1/2-inch wide ribbons. Rinse thoroughly and place in a colander to drain. Peel the sweet potato and cut it into a 1/2-inch dice (to make about 1 1/2 to 2 cups).
When the onions are ready, add the chorizo and paprika and cook another minute or two. The chorizo should begin to sizzle in the olive oil.
Add the kale and sweet potatoes and cook until the kale begins to collapse—about 5 minutes.
Add 3 cups of stock and bring to a simmer. Taste and correct the seasoning. Simmer the soup (covered, with the lid set slightly ajar) until the sweet potatoes and kale are tender—about 20 minutes. Add the chickpeas and the remaining cup of stock if the vegetables seem too crowded in the broth. Return to a simmer and cook for another 3 to 5 minutes.
When the soup is finished cooking, taste and correct the seasoning with salt and pepper. Ladle into warm soup bowls and serve with a generous drizzle of olive oil.
Makes about 5 cups of soup, serving 2 to 3. Recipe doubles easily.
Notes & Variations:
• This soup would be delicious served with a poached egg in each bowl or with a dollop of allioli (aioli).
• Spanish chorizo is a dry, cured sausage. It is not the same thing as Mexican chorizo, which is a fresh, ground meat.
• If you don't have chickpeas, substitute Cannellini or Great Northern white beans.
• For additional depth and color, add a teaspoon or so of double concentrated tomato paste to the pan and cook for a minute or two before adding the kale and sweet potatoes
• Use Yukon or Russet potatoes instead of sweet potatoes.
• Substitute sweet paprika for the smoked.
• Add a pinch of cayenne to the pan along with the paprika and chorizo.